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For Immediate Release

Contact:
November 04, 2011 SDUSM Hector Gomez, Western District of Texas -
Austin (512) 916-5380
Operation LASSO Concludes 10 Week District Fugitive Initiative Targeting Sex Offenders

LSFTF LogoAustin, TX – The United States Marshals Service in the Western District of Texas concluded a ten-week operation, dubbed Operation LASSO (Lockup And Secure Sex Offenders) as part of an ongoing emphasis investigating and locating fugitives charged with a myriad of sexual related offenses, crimes against women and children. Operation LASSO, a focused apprehension effort involving city, county, state and federal law enforcement officers spanning the Western District of Texas with operations centered in Austin, San Antonio, Waco, Del Rio, Alpine, Pecos, Midland and El Paso.

The Austin based operation was spearheaded by the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, comprised of area law enforcement agencies, collectively identified fugitives charged with sex offenses and assaultive type offenses against women and children. The operation netted 119 fugitives in the Austin area as part of this district wide effort. The operation also relied on the cooperative efforts of Mexican law enforcement as Dustin McFall, John Everett Fitch III, and Rogelio Meave, charged with sex related offenses, learned as they were quickly snared by Mexican authorities as they sought safe haven south of the border from their alleged criminal conduct. However, investigative efforts are still ongoing in an attempt to locate Prakashanand Saraswati, known to his followers as Swamiji, convicted earlier this year in Hays County for Indecency offenses. Swamiji is currently the subject of a world-wide hunt the task force characterizes as a very active effort.

Targeted fugitives of this operation will be further reviewed to determine any violation of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which provides federal penalties for violating the Act.

Robert R. Almonte, United States Marshal for the Western District of Texas states, “One of my strongest desires is to commit resources and a robust effort investigating and apprehending fugitives charged with sex offense, absconders, and those that victimize women and children”.

Participating in Operation LASSO in Austin –

  • Austin Police Department-Intelligence Unit
  • Buda Police Department
  • San Marcos Police Department
  • Travis County Sheriff’s Office
  • Williamson, Caldwell, Hays and Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office
  • Williamson County DA’s Office, Constable’s Office
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice OIG
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Texas Rangers
  • U.S. Marshals Service

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

Related News:

Operation LASSO - San Antonio

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